Our surrounding environment is teeming with useful energy, waiting to be harnessed (i.e., solar, wind, tidal, etc.). If this energy can be exploited at the point where it is required, then the need to carry additional power sources can be reduced. In recent years, magnetic shape memory alloys (MSMA) have demonstrated an ability to convert mechanical energy to magnetic energy. Such conversions have lead to the investigation of these alloys for energy harvesting applications.
There are a number of issues to address when forming a MSMA/polymer composite. The polymer must be stiff enough to transmit the induced strain through the entire matrix, yet soft enough not to exceed the MSMA blocking stress. Also, the polymer must not dampen any force applied before it can be transmitted to the MSMA particles.
Ten polymers have been investigated for MSMA/polymer composites. The work presented here will describe progress in nickel-manganese-gallium (Ni-Mn-Ga)/polymer composite fabrication and characterization. Special attention will be given to polymer selection, optimizing particle dispersion and MSMA/polymer interfacial interactions.
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Royale, S.U., Gregory, A.K. & Shannon, P.F. Polymer Assessment for Magnetic Shape Memory Alloy Composites. MRS Online Proceedings Library 977, 1301 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1557/PROC-977-0977-FF13-01